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Case Name Pangea Legal Services v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0173
Docket / Court 3:20-cv-09253 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On December 21, 2020, Pangea Legal Services and other legal organizations filed this suit against the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of refugees seeking to enter the United States for asylum. The ... read more >
On December 21, 2020, Pangea Legal Services and other legal organizations filed this suit against the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of refugees seeking to enter the United States for asylum. The plaintiffs alleged that DHS unlawfully changed the rules around asylum and thus restricted asylum eligibility by making it more difficult to meet the definition of a refugee, qualify for asylum review, and then meet the requirements to be granted asylum. The plaintiffs argued that such changes would frustrate their organizational missions and divert resources toward litigation. Represented by Sidley Austin, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, and the University of California Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, the plaintiffs sought both attorneys' fees and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief the prevent implementation of the changed rules.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the rules upend precedent on refugee law and were contrary to the Immigration and Nationality Act. The plaintiffs stated that the actions of the administration were in violation of law because the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, was without authority. The plaintiffs further alleged violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, stating that DHS acted in excess of authority because it was counter to the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the Refugee Act, in an arbitrary and capricious way because it was hastily implemented and is inconsistent with decades of precedent, and without observance of procedure because DHS failed to include stakeholders like the plaintiffs when making changes to the rules. The plaintiffs further asserted a violation of due process rights for asylum seekers. Judge James Donato was assigned to the case.

On December 23, 2020, Judge Susan Illston, presiding over another case between Pangea and DHS, denied a motion to relate that case to both this suit and the case Immigration Equality v. DHS. However, Judge Donato on December 29, 2020, granted a sua sponte motion to relate this suit to that of Immigration Equality.

On January 8, 2021, the court granted a preliminary injunction in the two related cases. Reasoning that the plaintiffs demonstrated a reasonable chance of success at trial and that there was a risk of irreparable harm without an injunction, the court enjoined DHS from enacting the revised rules on a nationwide scale.

On January 28, 2021, the two related cases were stayed so as to allow the incoming administration to review and revise the refugee policy. That status report will be due on April 19, 2021. This case is ongoing

Matthew Feng - 03/12/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Immigration/Border
Asylum - criteria
Refugees
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Non-profit religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Organizations that provide a wide range of services to immigrants
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 12/21/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0174 : Immigration Equality v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
02/12/2021
3:20-cv-09253-JD
IM-CA-0173-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
12/21/2020
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (Administrative Procedure Act Case ) [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0173-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
01/08/2021
Order Re Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 66] (512 F.Supp.3d 966)
IM-CA-0173-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Donato, James (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0002 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahmed, Sameer (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Albun, Zachary Abraham (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Anker, Deborah E (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001
Ardalan, Sabrineh (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Axel, Douglas Aaron (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Bookey, Blaine (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Carrera, John Willshire (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001
Crook, Jamie Lorraine (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Daher, Annie (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Earl, Brian C (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Igra, Naomi Ariel (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Kelly, Nancy (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Kelly, Steven Patrick (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Musalo, Karen (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Schwarz, Chaim Benzion (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-0001 | IM-CA-0173-9000
Willshire, John E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Flentje, August E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Greer, Christina P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Other Lawyers Dowlatshahi, Camron (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Dundas, Michael Joseph (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Krumplitsch, Susan Marie (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Malouff, Marissa (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Manes, August W (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Margulies, Peter (Rhode Island) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
McNally, Laura K. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Morrison, Danielle Therease (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Nandi, Neil Gerard (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Schulman, Steven H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Scordino, Ellen (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Stortz, Michael James (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000
Wadhia, Shoba Sivaprasad (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0173-9000

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